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Craftsvilla acquires online Indian foods store PlaceofOrigin


Craftsvilla, an online marketplace for Indian products, has acquired Bangalore based PlaceofOrigin, a platform which sells sweets, snacks and other items, for an all equity deal at an undisclosed amount. It is unclear if PlaceofOrigin will continue to operate independently or as a new category under Craftsvilla, although the latter seems unlikely as of now.

Craftsvilla says that the acquisition is in line with its vision to build shopping destination for all things ethnic. In a statement, Manoj Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Craftsvilla said, “.. We believe that ethnic foods is as big a category as ethnic wear with upwards of Rs 50,000 crore market size and we are looking at ethnic foods as another frontier of growth in ethnic space… We look forward to utilizing their experience and our reach to make this a huge category of Craftsvilla.”

PlaceofOrigin was founded by Ashish Nichani and Sudarsan Metla in 2014 and currently operates in 20 states. The company was incubated at Axilor Ventures and curates the marketplace for gourmet items. It does not store the products it delivers, instead they’re shipped from the store directly. It currently accepts credit and debit cards and net banking as payment modes and ties up with courier delivery companies to deliver products.

Sendd acquisition: Earlier this month, Craftsvilla acquired the on-demand shipping service provider Sendd for $4.5 million. Post acquisition, Sendd would continue to operate independently and offer its services to other firms as well. Craftsvilla mentioned that it will use the acquisition to strengthen its logistics capabilities. Founded in April last year, Sendd allows businesses to send parcels to 20,000 pin codes across India.

Craftsvilla funding: In November last year, Craftsvilla raised Series C funding worth ~$33.3 million, after the company raised Series B funding worth $18 million in April the same year. At the time the company mentioned that it planned to expand to other countries in southeast Asia.

Developments in the foods/grocery sector:

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– Last week, Flipkart shut down its grocery delivery service Nearby five months after its launch. The company had launched the service in October 2015 on a pilot basis to deliver in select Bangalore neighbourhoods.

– In October last year, Paytm launched QR code based payments in the Paytm Wallet app, which could be used by shopkeepers or service providers in order to accept digital payments.

– In July 2015, Ola launched a standalone application for hyperlocal groceries delivery called Ola Store.

– In April 2015, Godrej’s Nature’s Basket tied up with Amazon to deliver the former’s products via Amazon. It acquired the Mumbai-based online grocery store Ekstop in February and in March, EkStop was being integrated into Nature’s Basket’s online business. In January 2015, it also tied up with Snapdeal to make various gourmet products available via the e-commerce platform.

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